By: Christina D. Wagner

mothers-dayMother’s Day is celebrated in many parts of the world and at different times of the year. In Norway, it is celebrated on the second Sunday of February. In Georgia, they celebrate it on March 3rd. Some countries, like Ireland, United Kingdom, and Nigeria celebrate Mother’s Day on the fourth Sunday of Lent. The majority of countries around the world celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May. As I perused the list, it was interesting to see that, while many of these countries are so different culturally, all share a common bond and that is honoring mothers. To see the entire list of countries and when they celebrate Mother’s Day, visit’s_Day.

Regardless of when it is celebrated, it is interesting to note that the formal celebration of mothers around the world began in 1908 with Anna Jarvis. She held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia. Later, she began a successful campaign that would make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the United States in 1914. By the 1920’s, she was disappointed by how commercialized the holiday had become. Gifts are wonderful and always appreciated, but sometimes simply taking the time to let those that have helped to shape our lives, taught lessons, and made sacrifices for our greater good, know the impact they have had. That gift is priceless. In this spirit, we asked some of our employees of Xeriscapes Unlimited, Inc. to share the impact their mothers had on them.

When Rod Pappas, President of Xeriscapes, shared with me his lesson, suddenly the origin of the open and honest environment we all work in made perfect sense. He shared, “I’ll have to say one of the most important lessons I learned from my mother was “honesty is always the best policy.” During my younger days, it seemed I was always getting into some kind of trouble and thought I could get around it by denying it or blaming it on someone else. The spankings were not quite as bad when I admitted to making the mistake and sometimes I was let off with just a scolding. Hmmmm…it didn’t take long to figure that one out. I still caused trouble and gave my mother grief, but I learned that it was better to admit the mistake and fess up to it than try and deny it. This has stuck with me my entire life.”

Chase Cockrell, Irrigation Technician, learned many lessons from his mother. First, she taught him the value of an education when she urged him to refuse a draft offer with the Cincinnati Reds and instead attend college. He would later go on to play in the NFL, but that is another story. Here in the office, we love his attitude. When I asked him where he attributes his upbeat attitude and positivity to, with a big smile, he said, “It’s mom. It’s all my mom. My mom is sick with brain cancer. She still cracks jokes, makes funnies, threatens you, is still upbeat and giggly about everything. I get it from my mom. My mom was never negative about anything, no matter how bad it got, no matter what the situation was or what the outcome might be later. If it’s something you can’t control, why get mad about it? So, I don’t get mad, especially about what I can’t control. I think that’s where I get it from. I get it from my mom.”

Eddie Galindo, Facilities Technician, learned the lesson of work ethic and team work at a very young age. At nine years old, he and his brother had a newspaper route to bring in extra money for the family. Every day, the duo would deliver the newspapers on their bicycles. Within one year, rules and regulations regarding newspaper delivery changed to protect the youth. It became mandatory for an adult with a vehicle to assist in the deliveries. Now, the duo became a trio and the brothers, along with their mom, would deliver the newspapers. Eddie smiled and proudly said, “We were up at 5:00 a.m., doing what needed to be done. Both of us were flinging papers from the back, and my mom was driving us around. We made quite a team! After we were done, we would go home, get ready and we were off to school.”

They say it takes a village to raise a child. I truly believe that while some mothers may not have borne a child, that in no way diminishes the impact they have had as a mother. I can attest to that with all of the “mothers” I have had in my life. From my mom, I learned the lesson to keep the big picture in mind and not to sweat the small stuff. She always kept that front and center when raising my brother, sister and me. That lesson is helping me as I raise my two teenagers. From my grandmother, Gigi, I learned to never underestimate the power of faith and that He is always listening. From my Aunt Barbara, I learned how to laugh and that it is wise to laugh at myself often. From my Aunt Debbie, I learned the kind of wife I wanted to be. Some of these lessons were learned at a young age and some have been learned as an adult. The beauty of these amazing women in my life is that they continue to guide and teach me.

What are the lessons your mother taught you? Share them with us on our Facebook page It has been a joy to learn the lessons some of our team members learned and to get insight into who they are. We hope to hear from you as well.

From all of us to all of you, we wish you a wonderful Mother’s Day.